Minecraft: The revival of virtual survival


A forest biome in which players are commonly spawned.

      You’ve been spawned in a forest biome. Trees surrounding every move—perfect opportunity to harvest wood before sunset. You begin breaking down trees to create something new—something that will help you survive the night. Craft tools, build shelter, find food, repeat. Never lose sight of the goal: survival.

      While crafting, the sun begins to set as the sky becomes darker and darker. Monsters lurk from every corner, waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack and sabotage what has been created. Again, never lose sight of the goal: survival.

      Created in 2009 by Swedish video game developer Mojang Studios, Minecraft is simply a survival game in a world of blocks. The game encourages players to use their imagination to make the game whatever they want rather than setting a rigid objective to play by. However, the game offers two basic modes to play in, Survival or Creative, which determine how the game is played. 

      In Survival mode, the goal is just that: survival. Players are spawned into a new world and challenged to use surrounding resources to craft tools, find food, and gather materials to build the world they want to live in. While this may seem simple, monsters, also known as mobs, may antagonize players, attempting to steal resources and kill players. 

       In Creative mode, players have every resource readily available to them, which they can use to build anything they desire. Better yet, mobs do not exist in Creative mode, offering no disruption to players’ crafting. 

       Nonetheless, Minecraft offers limitless opportunities in either mode, making the game ideal for anyone with an imagination. However, many players prefer playing one mode over the other. 

       “I prefer Survival mode because it’s more dangerous and kind of like an adrenaline rush,” said junior Emily Winters. “The zombies are my favorite because they make fun noises.”

      Because of its simple yet captivating design, Minecraft has remained popular since its release almost 12 years ago. From novels and comics to merchandise and a film adaptation, Minecraft has been credited with being one of the best video games of all time. The game’s ability to fascinate players is one of the many reasons why players have stayed true to the game for several years.

     “I started playing Minecraft in 2013 or 2014, and I have been following the community ever since,” said freshman Jack Street. “I think it’s becoming popular again because of its creative aspects and now people are finding new ways to make [online] content with it.”

      Some Minecraft players have even become famous on the internet for their exciting gameplays. Since the early years of YouTube, content creators such as DanTDM (TheDiamondMinecart), Sky Does Everything (SkyDoesMinecraft), and CaptainSparklez have made a prevalent online presence because of Minecraft. However, as Minecraft slowly lost its popularity over the years, these creators began to post different content in order to lose their Minecraft branding.

      Several years later, new Minecraft YouTubers (MCYT) have risen to fame because of their gameplays. One of the most prevalent Minecraft YouTubers, Dream, has acquired over 16 million subscribers without even showing his face online. Dream is the creator of the Dream SMP, a private, whitelisted survival multiplayer (SMP) series played by the Dream Team (Dream, GeorgeNotFound, Sapnap, and others). In the past several months, the Dream SMP has obtained a large fanbase.

     “I started watching [the Dream Team] about six months ago,” said senior Emma Riccobene. “It reminds me of when I used to watch Minecraft YouTubers as a kid, but it’s more catered towards a teenage audience now.”

      As Minecraft continues to grow in popularity, it comes to show how timeless and entertaining a world full of blocks and endless possibilities can be. 

      “I just love being able to use my imagination to build whatever I want,” said Winters. “It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite games that I can constantly rely on to have some fun and relax.”

      Between Minecraft content creators and avid players, it doesn’t look like Minecraft will lose its admiration any time soon.